Phillip was back on Tuesday in episode 2 of his great show How To Spend It Well At Christmas in which he road tests gifts that you may want to buy for your loved ones. This week it was toys under the spotlight, so lets take a look at what Phillip thought about them.
Interactive toy pets
Interactive pets are getting more and more popular every year, and more advanced. Phillip sent 4 interactive pets to 4 families that had 7 year old children, to road test each of them. They were given a week to play with them, with cameras filming, so that the total amount of time each toy was played with could be calculated.
The more that the children played with the toys, the more features were discovered. To get those extras, these toys needed to be nurtured. Here are the toys, in reverse of the total number of minutes played.
In fourth place, with a total of 212 minutes of play time, was Juno the baby elephant. Priced at £90 (although as I write this is on a great reduction at Amazon), Juno has over 100 sounds and movements, including a playful trunk! The children liked this at first, but soon discarded it for the other toys.
With a total of 320 minutes play, the Nestlings Interactive Pet came in third place. The great thing about this toy was the surprise of extra toys to play with when they gave birth. Joint cheapest priced at £50.
Also priced at £50, in second place was Owleez Flying Baby Owl. The children loved playing with this, and the more they played the closer they got to making the owl fly. In total the children played with this for a total of 346 minutes.
The children tended to play with the other toys first, but as the week wore on Rizmo became their favourite, with an impressive 434 minutes play. This toy changed from a baby through to a fully grown extra terrestrial.
Interactive Glow Jumpers
Back to Phillips house and he and his wife were wearing the latest interactive glow in the dark sweatshirts from Illuminated Apparel. Costing £30, they have a white festive picture on the front (they were wearing a Santa face and a Christmas tree) on which you wave the light pen. You can do this from quite some distance, but obviously the closer you are the better the picture you can draw. When you are outside in the dark this drawing then glows.
This could be great fun for a novelty present, although they felt the sweatshirts weren’t very thick, and so you wouldn’t want to be outside in just a sweatshirt for long at this time of year. It’s better to do inside and then turn the lights off to see the design.
Family games against the clock
The next segment took a look at games for the whole family, that were games based against the clock. Our celebrity family playing were Leicester City footballer Jamie Vardy, his wife Rebekah and father Carlos, along with children Sofia and Taylor. The games were also tested by 5 other families, and they each got to rank them in order to find the favourite.
Let’s take a look at each, in reverse order:
In fifth place was Tap It! An electronic game, where the aim was to hit your coloured pod as many time as possible in the short time. There are 3 pother games you can play though, with the pods. The families found it pretty hard to set up, hence it finishing bottom of the 5.
In fourth place was What’s In The Box, an electronic version of an age old classic. Put your hands through the side to try and guess what object was inside the box before the timer goes.
Set the timer, spin the arrow to see where to wear your shaker, and see who shakes their Shake-ometer the most. Shake Off by John Adams looked great fun, although for those not so fit as Jamie Vardy maybe a little hard work.
If Shake Off was hard work, then the Slow Motion Race Game was the opposite! Put on the headband and music plays, then move slowly towards the prize. Move too quick and your headband lights up and buzzes. The fun of trying to win without going too quickly made this the second favourite game.
Playing as a team, which is a nice variation to most games, the aim is to follow the instructions so that each member of the team contributes using their tools to crack the bank vault within 5 minutes. The families agreed with the Vardy’s that Bank Attack by John Adams was the best of this selection of games.
Over the past few years seemingly every young girl ,and some boys, were into unicorns. But this year it appears that the must have toys are llamas! Phillip took a close look at the Hatchimal Wow Llalacorn.
Like all Hatchimal toys, this comes in an egg. To start with it rocks back and forth, but then hatches. As you take it out of it’s egg, you start to play with it, and more features come to life. Stroke it’s feet and it’s neck grows up into the air! It grows to an astonishing 32 inches in height. Priced at £80 it’s quite expensive, but as I write there’s a great reduction on Amazon which makes it much more affordable.
Phillip then visited a primary school where lots of noisy children were excited to see their school hall had been converted into a shop full of stocking fillers. Phillip had set up tables with different toys stacked on, but had removed the prices. Each child was allowed to choose 6 toys for their sack, although some seemed to have trouble limiting their haul!
The aim was to see which toys were chosen, from 3 different price ranges – under £5, £5-£10, and £10-£15. With the national average price of a stocking for children coming in at £71, what would Phillip’s testers come in at?
Here’s a list of some of the toys available:
- Blume Dolls
- Fart Ninja
- Harry Potter Dobble
- Don’t Upset The Llama
- Untamed Snakes
- Stretchy Poop
- Capsule Chix
- Pokemon Cards
- Twisty Petz
- Roblox Characters
- Lego Minifigures
- Goo Jit Zu
- Barbie Fashionistas
So which of these proved the most popular, and just what was the average price of the children’s own selected stockings? There were 3 toys that were tied for the most popular – Roblox at £15, Goo Jit Zu at £10, and Stretchy Poop at £2. And amazingly the self selected stockings came in at an average of £55, which is £16 less than the national average.
Games with apps required
Regular to the show, Stacey Solomon and her kids Leighton and Zach, were testing out the latest games that require smartphone apps to fully play.
First up they took a look at Lego Hidden Side, where you make the Lego set, but then play with the game on the app. This seemed a bit sad really, almost as if you were casting aside the physical toy. There are 6 levels on the app, but to get to every level and feature you have to buy all the toys, which will set you back the best part of £400. But I guess as a collectible over the years it may be appealing to some.
To make this cloak invisible, first take a photo of the sofa you are sitting on, or wall you stand in front of. Wear the cloak, then when you turn it inside out by magic you disappear! This really is a great toy – who hasn’t watched the films and wanted to wear the invisibility cloaks? The Harry Pottter Invisibility Cloak is an official product too.
Even more fun in my mind is Pictionary Air, a modern twist on the old classic drawing game. One person draws in the air with a light pen, which shows the picture on the tablet screen, but they can’t themselves see what they have drawn. So that really tests their drawing skills and also their memory as to where they started! This was also Stacey’s favourite.
Christmas is all about the kids, so I hope your children enjoyed the show. And I hope it gave you some great ideas what to buy this year. But what were Phillips favourites? His top 3 were Bank Attack, Pictionary Air and Stretchy Poop.